A social influence marketing campaign is one that specifically allows for social influence to take place digitally. Social influence marketing campaigns are a relatively new phenomenon. A few years ago, the closest comparison was word-of-mouth campaigns conducted in the offline world to build brand awareness for a product by incentivizing people to talk about it among themselves.
Digital campaigns, for the most part, were about display advertising across large publisher Web sites, complemented with paid search campaigns and maybe e-mail campaigns. These campaigns were used to drive prospects to a microsite (a site devoted to that particular campaign) or a Web site, where they were encouraged to make purchases or engage with the brand.
With a SIM campaign, you mustn’t drag people away from the social platform on which they’re communicating and interacting with each other. They don’t want to be distracted and you’ll probably only waste precious marketing dollars trying to lure them to your Web site. Instead, it’s more important to execute the campaign on those very platforms where your potential customers are in conversation. You have to engage your customers where they want to participate, not where you want them to be.
Define your objectives
This may seem obvious, but it is amazing how many of us forget about articulating the objectives when it comes to a SIM campaign. Your objectives need to be tightly defined, and they must be practical and actionable too. Check out the section “Using LinkedIn to Determine Your Objectives and Shape Your Campaign Plan later in this chapter, for tips on how you can use LinkedIn with this task
Execute for influence
Traditionally, most campaigns have focused on getting a potential customer to take a specific action or to view a specific brand message. The focus has always been on that individual engaging with the brand in some form. However, with a SIM campaign, it is necessary to design for sharing, influencing, reciprocity, and social currency
Putting SIM into Action
the participants vary slightly. Rather than having a regular publisher, you have the social platform with whom to contend with. Your campaign must be in compliance with their policies; otherwise, they won’t let it run on their platform.
But the platform players aren’t the only ones you have to worry about. Invariably with most large brands, ad hoc user groups spring up that have a sense of ownership over the brand or product category on the social platform where you’re planning to run the campaign.
Track the results
There’s a saying in the world of social media that only successful SIM campaigns can be measured; failures can’t be. The point is that marketers often say that SIM could not be measured if in their hearts of hearts they know that their campaign has failed. If the campaign is a success, you bet they’ll be telling you about it and explaining why exactly it was a success.